Thursday, June 4, 2009

Living out a true devotion

Tim and I have always had similar values. We are both "cradle Catholics" from big families. We are both very conservative in our views- both social and political. We both enjoy a somewhat lazy, simple existence as opposed to the hurry, hurry, hurry busy-all-the-time life of so many of our friends. These are the big things that obviously make our relationship work so well. We, of course, have our differences as every couple does. Tim is very quiet and keeps a lot of his thoughts and emotions to himself, I, on the other hand, love to talk and keep nothing to myself. Tim likes to live in the moment and worry about tomorrow when it comes. I want to plan everything in advance, have a plan for everything that might happen and worry about today, tomorrow and next year all at once.
Sometimes the things that seem to matter most day-to-day, though, are the silly, little things we have in common. Tim and I both love sweets. We often laugh at the same goofy things. And we are both night owls- preferring to stay up late and sleep in the next morning. Sitting up in the wee hours of the morning, eating Little Debbie nutty bars, and giggling over the Conan O'Brien show are some of our greatest memories from our early years of marriage. Amazingly, having children did not put much of a damper on our schedule, as they all tend to be energized in the evenings and then sleep late also. Life has been good.
Then, a few weeks ago, Tim started training for a new part time job. The job, which will ultimately have shifts from 10pm-4am, should be a huge blessing to our family. The money is better and it will allow Tim to be home more often. The hours should also work fine- we are all accustom to our late nights anyway. The training, however, has been a different story! In order, to accommodate both his training for the new job and his regular full time job Tim has been working 14 hour days. His days start at 5:30 am when the alarm clock rings and rouses him before the sun even rises. Most mornings I sleep right through it all, feeling a little guilty when I awake at 9am to find the bed empty next to me. On the rare occasions I have been awake to see Tim off, the guilt is even worse. He is making such a huge sacrifice to do what is best for our family, and here I am climbing back into bed to get another few hours of sleep. Tim has yet to complain about the crazy schedule he has been keeping. He dutifully sets the alarm at night and dutifully drags himself out of bed, practically in the middle of the night, to start another day of seemingly endless work.
In my guilt over sleeping so much, I have begun to look at my own selfish habits and wonder if I am making enough sacrifices for the good of our family. Though, I am pretty good at preaching about living out my vocation and talking about serving God through serving my family, I have been completely humbled by the action with which Tim is actually doing it. I am starting to realize that maybe my tendency to want to talk about everything is keeping me from actually doing any of it well! Maybe Tim's quiet way of just doing what God has called him to should inspire me to greater action, greater service, greater charity. So, today, I vow to do better. Today, I will put aside some of my selfish, lazy desires and spend more time with my children. Today, I will work harder to keep my house clean and to do so with a smile. Today, I will do something nice for someone else, just because. Today, I will try to be more like Tim, giving and loving and truly living out a devotion to duty....but first, I think I may lay back down to catch just a few more minutes of sleep!

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